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Visiting Academics and PhD Students

Terry Cannon




Visiting Senior Lecturer


Primary Staff sponsor: Mark Pelling




Terry Cannon has been teaching the module Community, Vulnerability and Disaster Risk since 2009. This is one of the key modules in the MA/ MSc Disasters, Adaptation and Development.


Terry Cannon is a development studies specialist based at IDS (the Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex). He is mainly focused the significance of natural hazards and climate change as challenges to poverty and development. He researches both adaptation to climate change and disaster vulnerability, and teaches in postgraduate courses at IDS, King’s College London, NTNU university in Norway, University of Copenhagen, Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Dhaka. His work also involves advice and training on climate change and disasters for staff of NGOs and Red Cross, governments and research organizations.

He has published academic and policy work on climate change and disasters, and is co-author of At Risk: natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters (Routledge 1994 and 2004), one of the most cited works in disaster studies, which has been translated into Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.  He is lead editor and author of the Red Cross World Disasters Report 2014 Focus on Culture and Risk (Geneva: IFRC), and co-editor of Cultures and Disasters (Routledge 2015). His research and capacity-building work is mainly in south Asia (especially Bangladesh) and east Africa. A recent research project in Bangladesh involved assessing what can (and cannot) be done to support livelihoods in cyclone disasters. He is actively involved in promoting the significance of culture as a major determinant of people’s perception of risk, largely neglected by most disaster risk reduction organizations.


Selected publications

IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies), World Disasters Report 2014 Theme: Culture and Risk, 2014, Geneva, Lead editor and author of chapters 1, 3, 4, 7.

Greg Bankoff, Terry Cannon, Fred Krüger, Benedikt Orlovski and Lisa Schipper (eds.), 2015, Cultures and Disasters: Understanding Cultural Framings in Disaster Risk Reduction, Routledge

B Wisner, T Cannon, I Davis & P Blaikie, At Risk: Natural Hazards, Peoples’ Vulnerability and Disasters 2nd edition, (Routledge) 2004. This has been translated into Japanese (2011) and Chinese (due 2016).

T Cannon (2015) ‘Disasters, vulnerability and the significance of culture’, in: Greg Bankoff, Terry Cannon, Fred Krüger, Benedikt Orlovski, Lisa Schipper (eds.), 2015, Cultures and Disasters: Understanding Cultural Framings in Disaster Risk Reduction, Routledge

Christophe Béné, Lyla Metha, Gordon McGranahan, Terry Cannon & Jaideep Gupte (2016). ‘Resilience as a policy narrative: potentials and limits in the context of urban planning.’ Under review at Climate and Development.

T Cannon & D Mueller-Mahn, ‘Vulnerability, resilience and development discourses in context of climate change’ Natural Hazards, 2010, Vol.55 pp.621-635

Terry Cannon (2008) ‘Vulnerability, “innocent” disasters and the imperative of cultural understanding’, Disaster Prevention and Management, vol.17,3, pp. 350-357, 2008.

Maarten van Aalst, Terry Cannon & Ian Burton (2008), “Community level adaptation to climate change: the potential role of participatory community risk assessment”, Global Environmental Change, 18,1, pp.165-79, 2008


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